Monday, 29 October 2007

Marburg madness

The last few days have been a whirl of Marburg-related activity starting with African drumming and an art show on Friday night, progressing through a day of festivities and a street parade, jumping to a Monday opening ceremony for the new school playground. Politicians have been much in evidence. It’s not that long till November 24 and there are babies to be kissed, hands to be shaken and names to forget. Between the federal elections this year and local council elections coming in March, support is running high for local projects and we are grateful, though our votes are not for sale. I haven’t decided yet if it is more or less ethical to take money with no intention of voting for the donor.

Friday night and Saturday were the second annual Black Snake Creek Festival. Perhaps out of gratitude for our offering a festival in its name, or perhaps in response to the enthusiastic drumming, heavy overnight rain last night meant that the creek was running this morning. I have never seen water flowing in the creek so it was quite exciting (when I could take my eyes off the somewhat treacherous driving conditions long enough to admire it.)

Getting back to the festival. It was wonderful to see the community enjoying themselves, mingling under trees in the park and greeting friends. Too often people bemoan the decline of small towns and don’t take time to celebrate the good things – knowing people, having an occasion to celebrate, showcasing local organisations and talent. There was music all day on the bandstand, craft workshops for the kids, face painting, food, land care displays, art, stalls, a parade and food.

Can I mention the fabulous Marburger here? Lettuce, tomato, beetroot, meat patty, bacon, fried onions, egg and sauce on a bun. I think my hands finally are rid of the smell of onion after a mid-morning onion crisis led to on-site rapid onion peeling and slicing. The local school hamburger stall is the main food purveyor at the festival and it is our most successful fundraiser of the year. We sell burgers from 6pm till late on the Friday night and 10am till late on the Saturday. It is an amazing amount of work, but the camaraderie and rewards are great.

Sunday, all of Marburg drowsed in post-festival exhaustion and heavy humidity. The official forecast was for a slight chance of a storm. Old-timers predicted heavy rain and they were right. Nature put on a magnificent display.

Now as I write I am deafened by the frogs having their own celebration. Rain in the Scrub is always followed by the sound of frogs and the tang of smoke. Locals take the chance to burn off rubbish when there is less danger of fires escaping and the frogs are just happy and warming up for their own carnivale.

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